STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT

The purpose of the Zimbardo Prison Experiment, also known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted by Philip ZIMBARDO in 1971, aimed to explain how conformity and obedience lead people to behaviors that are different from those they would normally exhibit or even think they would exhibit.

Apr 12, 2023 - 12:16
Apr 28, 2023 - 02:08
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STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT
STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT

The purpose of the Zimbardo Prison Experiment, also known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted by Philip ZIMBARDO in 1971, aimed to explain how conformity and obedience lead people to behaviors that are different from those they would normally exhibit or even think they would exhibit. We believe that only bad people will do bad things. In other words, we actually have a pre-acceptance on this subject, but this understanding is not always the case. It is possible that certain situations push people, who are normally ordinary individuals, into unusual evil behavior. The main purpose of this research is to examine how social norms affect the behavior of participants in the role of prisoner and guard.

Participants accepted the experiment by knowing what experiment they were, and these participants were found through a newspaper advertisement. They were also tested to make sure they didn't have any physical or psychological problems. All of them are middle-class, college students from similar backgrounds. Eighteen students participated in the experiment and it was decided by tossing a coin which one would be the guard and which one would be the prisoner.

Zimbardo wanted this experiment to be as realistic as possible, so he had the detainees arrested on random days when they least expected them, and the arrests were faithfully arrested by the university's regional police station. After fingerprints were taken and photographs of the prison were taken, they were given prisoner uniforms. After that, the participants were placed in the artificial prison set up in the basement of Stanford University, and each inmate was given a number.

Zimbardo held a meeting with the participants who played the guards before the experiment began and warned that they could not do any physical harm to the detainees, but Zimbardo stated that they could use other methods to control the detainees. Just like the detainees, the guards were also given uniforms and truncheons. These batons will be used to threaten physical violence, not physical violence. The guards were also told that they should call the detainees not by their names, but by the numbers given to the detainees. The guards are free to do whatever it takes to maintain law and order.

The first day of the experiment passed without incident. That is, the detainees have not yet grasped the seriousness of the matter, and the guards still feel awkward when giving them orders. In the days that followed, things slowly changed. The detainees got very bored with this situation and started their first rebellion against the guards. For example, they locked themselves in their rooms. The guards accepted this as an insult to their false authority and started the fight. In response, the detainees began tearing up their numbers and hurling insults at the guards for a counter-reaction. At some point, the guards began to see the detainees as dangerous people who really needed to be controlled. After these thoughts, they went further and exhibited punitive attitudes such as stripping the detainees naked. The guards suppressed these riots and imprisoned the rebels in isolation rooms. The detainees began to deteriorate after 36 hours, and the first detainee was excluded from the experiment because of depressive symptoms and aggressive behavior. The situation started to become even more dire, for example, the detainees started a hunger strike. In response, the guards were forced to exercise until the detainees were exhausted and did not allow them to go to the toilet, forcing them to do it in buckets and not letting them empty the buckets. At the same time, the guards basically aim to turn them against each other and intimidate them.

Zimbardo also put himself in this situation by playing the prison warden. He never realized that the experiment had gotten out of control, and now on the sixth day of the experiment, his girlfriend came to visit the prison and he was so horrified by the sight that he asked Zimbardo to stop the experiment. Zimbardo saw the truth after an outsider showed him the truth and eventually decided to end the experiment early. When Zimbardo made this decision, it was the sixth day of the experiment, and half of the prisoners had a serious mental breakdown. None of the guards left the experiment early.

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Damla Alkaş Merhaba ben Damla ALKAŞ. Çağ Üniversitesi Psikoloji bölümü 4. sınıf öğrencisiyim. Lisans hayatım boyunca özel bir klinikte, özel eğitim ve rehabilitasyon merkezinde ve Dr. Ekrem Tok Ruh Sağlığı ve Hastalıkları Hastanesinde stajlarımı tamamladım. 2020 yılından beri Habitat Derneğinin Kız Kardeşim Projesinde gönüllü eğitmenlik ve 2021 yılından beri de EFPSA'nın yürüttüğü Mind the Mind projesinde eğitmenlik yapmaktayım. Üniversitemin Sosyal Fikir Atölyesi Topluluğunun yönetim kurulunda yer aldım ve başkanlığını yaptım. 2023 mart ayından beridir de hem Sayedra Psikoloji Blog yazarı hem de Sayedra'nın yönetim kurulunda yer almaktayım.